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Mysore: Some Clarifications on Demolitions

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

Dear Friends,
As no more comments are forthcoming on the issues, let me try to answer all the queries raised.

  • Q1. Sanjay V – Does not the restriction of cell phone usage is within the justifiable level of infringement of civil liberty & privacy?
  • Q2. Mysoremath- What action is taken against the officials who allowed such encroachments in the footpaths?
  • Q3. Cutezorba– Was there any excesses in terms of violations of democratic process?


I had already clarified that any infringement on the public convenience is not preferable. But, at times when we weigh the pros and cons of an action, if the outcome outweighs the little discomfort, then it is justifiable.
In our case, the outcome was to ensure that the operation concludes without hitches, so that it sends a signal that the administration has the capacity to hit the illegal encroachments however mightily they are backed. In case the operation had been halted due to whatever reason, it would have been a blow to the law enforcement agencies, and worse, it would have practically closed the possibility of such operation in the future.
Restriction of the cell network was one such action taken to reduce the possibility of people getting emotional and creating a panic, which could have lead to stoppage of the demolition. Thus, the team feels that, the restriction imposed is justified in this case, more so, when BSNL cell network and all landlines were untouched. And, as Murali sir, mentioned, we won’t require to impose these restrictions during further demolitions.


Sri Mysoremath has been raising this issue in almost all platforms. His contention is that, action should be taken against those officials who allowed the encroachments to come up. We can’t’ agree more! We never shield culprits. Indeed the current Municipal commissioner Raikar has dismissed and suspended many persons during his tenure.
Citizens don’t realize it, as its not given publicity, and also the quantum is less. It is less, because of our judicial system. 1000 guilty may escape, but, one innocent can’t be punished! Means, unless it’s proved that the official has taken a bribe for allowing the builder to violate the law, we can’t do much. We have to expressly prove that, there has been a ‘quid pro quo’.
How many citizens are ready to give evidence in the court? Is our Mysoremath sir ready to come and give evidence in the court against any official he knows to be corrupt? I am sure that he must have come across many corrupt officials in his life. We are not challenging Mysoremath sir. I appreciate his involvement and interest in civic issues.
We just want to bring out the fact that, it’s easier to set the wrong right, and difficult to pin down the wrong doer and punish him. I am quoting this, becos; most of our citizens don’t even show as much interest as shown by our Mysoremath sir! Then how can we punish the wrong doing officers?
Also, coming to the pulp and the skin example, we feel that the person who got the better of the bargain is the shopkeeper and not the officer! The official is just an abettor of the crime. Thus, we have to first tackle the shopkeeper who has encroached the road/footpath, and then comes the officer who supported that crime.


The main issue seems to be whether the violators have been given notice and thus an opportunity to put their case.
As per the principles of Natural Justice, we have to given an opportunity to the person to put forward his case, before taking an action. But, there are, of course, exceptions.
The case of removal of encroachments is one such exception. The government and the legislature, in their wisdom, amended the Municipal Corporation Act; by inserting section 288D, which enables the Commissioner to remove such encroachment of the foot path/road, without giving any notice to the encroachers.
They may have done this amendment, after observing the ease with which the encroachers are able to get stay order on demolitions. It may be noted that this exemption is available to only the encroachments on the footpath/road, and not any other government land. It means, if somebody has encroached into a park, the Commissioner has to issues a notice, before evicting the encroachment!
Thus it is very clear that, the sec: 288D has been introduced after lot of thought, enabling the Commissioner to remove the encroachments on the footpath without any hassle. When such is the case, issuing notices, and thus inviting ‘stay’ orders, will be not only imprudent, but invite criticisms.
Also, the shopkeeper knows it very well that he is violating and encroaching upon the public way/footpath, when he is encroaching. He also knows that unless he takes permission from Corporation, his construction is liable to be removed anytime. Thus, there are absolutely no grounds for terming the operation as ‘excess’.
Warm regards,
(On behalf of the Team)


idontspam's picture


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 288D has been challenged in Bangalore for encroachments on SWD. Not having read the act and from what you say looks like SWD's are not covered in that exemption. Why shouldnt it cover all Govt properties? why only roads & footpath?

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

'The official is just an abettor of the crime' is that all?

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/Also, coming to the pulp and the skin example, we feel that the person who got the better of the bargain is the shopkeeper and not the officer! The official is just an abettor of the crime. Thus, we have to first tackle the shopkeeper who has encroached the road/footpath, and then comes the officer who supported that crime/

The words 'just an abettor' can be interpreted in many ways. the question that arises here is, if only the official was true to his salt, he should have exercised his 'power of authority' to have put a stop at the time the crime was being committed. 

Concerned officials will always be on the move in their jurisdictional areas and will be keeping a close watch on what kind of encroachment is going on but they turn a nelson's eye till the work is completed and then they descend like Yamadootas to exploit the hapless law breaker, albeit however small it may be.  But while scaring that guy, the official in authority creates a demonic version of the 'crime' the citizen has committed and get their pound of flesh. 

'You scratch my back, I will scratch your back' and all is well that ends well till strict officers who cannot be converted into abettors arrive on the scene and demolish the skinny citizen.

Prevention is better than cure should have been the motto.

Whistle blowers are always harassed - the devil and the deep sea; they are not given the due protection for having done some service to the society and administration has its own limited powers in acquiscising to the needs of such people. 

In some cases, accused abettors are suspended, spend their suspension period happily with subsistence allowance and also by earning some lucre by re-employing themselves and finally acquitted with honor, backwages, promotion to boot et all right in front of the whistle blower who suffers a syndrome of fear.

Life can be beautiful till law catches up with only the law breaker but not the abettor of crimes.

Happy to find  that the Team has silently been doing its bit. We need more Teams.

Incidentally, CAG is a whistle blower for decades and has not been empowdered with more powers.  If the total value of the moneys he has held under objection is recovered partially from the 'abettors', our country's deficit budgeting would come down drastically.

I had posted the following blog expecting a vibrant civil society interaction but not a single remark has been posted ??!!

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